Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey


A different civilization and a different history lie in every corner of Anatolia. You will be able to cover all the geography with the excursion routes in the footsteps of ancient civilizations, including the civilizations of Byzantium, Rome, and Phrygia.

Remaining Historical Buildings in Anatolia from Phrygians

Mainly originating from Balkans, the Phrygians came to Anatolia in 1200s BCC and established civilization in 750 BC. They ruled especially in Eskişehir, Afyon and Kütahya regions. Today, the Midas Monument in Eskişehir stands out as the most important historic monument from the time of the Phrygians. The inscription gives information about the period with the Phrygian characters. Gordion, located in Ankara Polatlı, is one of the historic buildings from the Phrygians. Pessinus in Ballıhisar is one of the Phrygian remains that you must see. The Phrygian valley in the village of Sülün in Afyon also houses the ancient city of Prymnessus. In the Phrygian Valley, Ayazini is a must-see place. In addition, the Phrygian Valley is located between Eskişehir and Kütahya. The Afyon Archaeological Museum is a Phrygian Museum.

Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey

Phrygian Yazilikaya, or Midas Kenti (Midas City) is a Phrygian archaeological remains and inscription mentioning Midas.

Historical Ruins of the Hittites Period

The Hattis, one of the Indo-European tribes, came to Anatolia from the Caucasus and settled in Central Anatolia. The earliest works of the Hittites were found at the site of Kültepe Ruins in Kayseri. The ancient city of Hattuşaş in Çorum Boğazkale is the capital of Hittite civilization. The ancient city, which is on the UNESCO world heritage list, contains many important remains and structures dating from the Hittite civilization. In addition, the remains of Alacahöyük carry the traces of the Hittite civilization. However, the Statue of the Storm God of the Late Hittite Period is on display at the Adana Archeology Museum.

Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey

Aerial view of The Hattusa that is The capital of the Hittite Civilization, Çorum.

Historical Buildings of Urartu Period

Urartus settled around Lake Van of Anatolia in 8th century BC and established a different civilization. The Urartians, who used cuneiform and hieroglyphic writing, left the Manoa Canal in Van or the canals called the Şamran Channel. Today, efforts are made to bring the terraces in Kadem Bastı to tourism, and it is open to visit. There are also 15 nail writing plates around the canal. The Çavuştepe Castle in the Gürpınar district of Van was built in the 7th century BC by the name of Sardurihinili. 4 different graves belonging to Urartu were found in the castle in 2018. Toprakkale is the ancient city at the foot of Erek Mountain, which is located to the east of the Van plain. The temple, the ruins of the period, the irrigation canals of the period, and the ruins of the palace have been reached. The Castle of Van is known as Antique Tabba and is the first capital of the Urartians.

Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey

Urartu fort near Ishak Pasha Palace with mosque in Dogubayazit, eastern Turkey.

Historical Ruins of the Lydian Civilization

Established in the 7th century BC, the Lydians settled in the area between the Menderes and Gediz rivers of Western Anatolia. From the Lydians, who have the distinction of being a strong army state, there is Sardes Antique City in the town of Sart, in the Salihli district of Manisa to the present day. In the ancient city, which is the capital of the Lydian kingdom, there are many important historical buildings and relics. Also very close to the ancient city of Sardes Bintepeler Tumulus is one of the world’s largest monumental graves. It is located between Gediz River and Marmara Lake. The Daskyleion Antique City of Balıkesir was unearthed with 2 kitchens from the 6th century BC. Thus, there are kitchen utensils in the ruins as well.

Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey

Lydian ruins, Manisa, Turkey

Remains of Other Ancient Civilizations

Many important buildings and cities from the Neolithic age are located in Anatolia. One of them, Çayönü, is located 7 kilometers southwest of Ergani district of Diyarbakır. The village is estimated to have a history of 8000 years. Çatalhöyük, located in Küçükköy, Çumra district of Konya, has a history of 7500 years. Today, the excavations still continue and many important Neolithic structures have been reached. Late Neolithic artifacts were found in Hacılar, which is 25 km southwest of Burdur. The ruins of Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa are from the Neolithic period.

Old Civilizations Itineraries in Turkey

Çatalhöyük, oldest town in the world.

Roman and Hellenistic Civilizations

Both the Hellenistic period, the origin of today’s European civilization, and the period of the Roman Empire produced important works and ancient cities in the geography of Anatolia.

  • Aegean Region: Antandros Antique City in Edremit, Balıkesir; The ancient city of Aizonai, which you can see in Kütahya, is a unique historic city. The ancient city of Ephesus, located in the Selçuk district of İzmir, is the most important Greek and Roman city. You can also visit the ancient city of Pergamon in the region. The Ancient City of Miletus, Aphrodisias, and Magnesia Ancient City are waiting for you in Aydın. Visit the ancient city of Knidos, Herakleia and the ancient city of Xanthos in Muğla. Also visit Laodikeia Antique City and Hierapolis, and do not miss the ancient ruins and artifacts that you can see at the borders of Denizli. Take a day for the ancient city of Olympos in Antalya and the ancient city of Side, and see the ruins of Myra.

Selçuk, Izmir, Ephesus Ancient City Ruins

  • Marmara Region: The Arkadius column in Istanbul, the Çemberlitaş column, the Goths column, the Constantine column, the Markianos column, the Obelisk of Theodosius, and Million Stone are perfectly suitable for taking pictures in Istanbul old city. After seeing the ancient city of Nikomedia in Izmit, visit the ancient city of Adraneia (Hadriani) in Orhaneli, Bursa. Photograph the ruins of Nikaia belonging to the early periods in Iznik. Visit the ancient city of Troy in Çanakkale. You can fit the ancient city of Assos into the same day.
  • Cappadocia Region: You can visit the underground cities and church ruins in Nevşehir from the Roman period. In addition, Göstesin (Yassı Höyük) in Gülşehir and Şahinefendi (Sobesos) Ancient City in Ürgüp are fascinating Roman ruins.

Cappadocia , Goreme Open Air Museum

  • Black Sea Region: After visiting the ancient city of Tios in Zonguldak Çaycuma, see the ancient city of Paphlagonia in Amasra. Visit the ancient city of Pompeipolis in Taşköprü, Kastamonu. In Samsun, witness the history of the Amisos Antique city, and admire the beautiful landscape. Take the Kurul Rock of the 6th Mithridat period and visit the ruins. In Trabzon, visit the Sümela Monastery of the 4th century.
  • Southeastern Region: See the ancient city and mosaics of Zeugma in Gaziantep. The Akdamar Church in Van is waiting for you with its magnificent atmosphere. Then, visit Tuşpa. After visiting the ancient city Meya in Ağrı, see the ruins of Ani in Kars.